A report from The Queensland Legislative Assembly of Australia on Alcohol-Related Violence inexplicably suggests that expanding research into the effects of violent videogames on youth might somehow provide more insight into the impact drinking has on people.
The inquiry (PDF), released last month, was drafted by the Law, Justice and Safety Committee and focuses on “alcohol related violence around licensed premises.” The report begins by asking, “What has happened to Australia’s drinking culture?” and claims that “Vomiting, falling over, and creating a nuisance in public are not seen as shameful but to some are badges of honour.”
In looking for reasons why this prevailing attitude has become the norm, the report suggests examining the background of offenders, for, “It might be that the offenders tend to come from a background of domestic violence, or from childhoods in which they were exposed to domestic violence or family violence, or were babysat by violent interactive video games or were by some other means inured to violence.”
The report continues:
The Committee is aware of research implicating violent interactive video games in youth violence. Making a choice to brutally stab and dismember a moving image is a different experience from simply watching such an event on a screen. The Committee believes that the hypothesis that violent video games are involved in the escalation of youth violence needs further exploration.
Among the report’s 68 recommendations for dealing with alcohol-related violence, the second recommendation is “That the Government consider strategies for determining the effect of violent video games on youth violence, including literature reviews, case studies and investigation.